Friday, August 10, 2007

christ follower vs christian

part two

part three

part four

part five

part six

h/t Acts 29 Newsletter


Bron said...

This comes across worse typed that it would in person, but... I dunno about those videos. Like the original ads, I find them a bit mean. Sure, I get the point, and there were things that are funny... but regardless of how outdated or culturally geeky fellow Christians are, if they are Christians then there should be a bond of unity which transcends all that cultural stuff, even the narrow mindedness and all the rest. I mean, fair enough to poke fun at the cultural stuff... but maybe the problem I have is the fact that the ads put a personal face on something and then poke fun at it. They make it personal and that makes me uncomfortable.

ckjolly said...

If you believe them to be a mockery of traditional Christians ... I wish to disagree. I believe that there is much respect shown to them.

Should you believe this to be all one-sided jest ... please consider the recent parodies of's posters that Pyromaniacs recently designed. I have found that if there is mockery ... most of it has come from the traditional sorts.

Christians and Christ-followers both need to laugh at themselves ... and loosen up ... but keep from offending fellow brothers and sisters in Christ that genuinely love the gospel of Christ and wish to live their lives out of reverence for the one who saved them.

On that note ... I completely agree with you, Bron.


Bron said...

Blimey! The posters were pretty full on too :)

It's too easy to be sensitive on someone else's behalf... so no point in joining the fray.

I guess they just make me uncomfortable. Maybe there's a difference in humour that I'm just not getting either.

John Dekker said...

This is almost ironic as a first post on this new blog. In calling yourself "Christine Jolly" (and it looks like less and less women are taking their husbands' names), you are identifying yourself with Mike, for better or worse. The bad things you do can harm his reputation. And this is precisely the right analogy in thinking of the way we are called "Christians" - taking on Jesus' name.

Now, I'm not sure how it relates to the Christian vs. Christ-follower debate, but one reason to keep the name "Christian" is that it provides better continuity with those who have gone before - for all their faults, we still shouldn't disown them. When we are joined to Christ, we are also are joined to his people.

Dani said...

Hi Christine,
I'm not sure how those videos show much (if any) respect to Christians. All they do is present a carticature of them and a very unfavourable and poor one at that.

It's pretty clear that they are seeking to stereotype a 'Christian' as out dated, out of touch with society, begruding of the way God works through other Christians and all round pretty dumb. Even the tag line 'Christian no more' shows how undesirable they consider the label.

I'm all for being able to laugh at ourselves. But I think these videos pass that point and descend into ridicule. I'm with Bron at this point- there should be a unity which transcends all people who live with Christ as their Lord and Saviour and whilst we should feel free to critique the approaches of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we should not feel free to ridicule and patronise them.

gina said...

I have been, at different times in my life, immersed in both “cultures” and find the caricatures amusing and (yikes) close to what’s really out there. I have been in a place where I was scared I was going to go to hell because I listened to rock music or forgot to wear pantyhose on a Sunday; where there was more emphasis on what others might think of you, or how many tracts you handed out last week than on the good news about Jesus. I’ve also been in a place where nothing is more important than making the gospel look attractive to unbelievers by just about any means necessary; where we’re so afraid to offend that we gloss over our urgent need for a Savior. The truth is nothing we do can change or even improve upon the Truth. Our position in Christ is only because of what He already did on the cross. It’s done. So whether it’s working to have a record number of people come down the aisle and make a “decision” or working to have a huge turnout for the free concert in Jesus’ name, we all are in danger of depending on ourselves and the things we do way too much. The gospel is good enough.

I understand the desire to dump names that are less useful (though good) than they used to be, like: Fundamentalist. ‘Christian’ ought not be dumped, in my view. But ‘Christ follower’ is obviously good too.

Christine, I really appreciate the fact that you are always thinking and encouraging others to do the same. Here’s an idea. How about a parody with two women representing egalitarianism and complimentarianism? My vote is for you to play the part of the latter…Keep up the good work!

Don said...

How deliciously trendy! As to whether the videos show respect for Christians, they show as much respect as the Apple ads do for PCs. Interpret that however you want.

For me, I became a Christian in 1987 and some day, I’ll die a Christian regardless of trends and fads. At ckhnat you described the reasons for the emergence of Christ Followers as the result of “baggage,” “stigma” and people who “cringe.” To me, these are all irrelevant as they are OPP (other people’s problems) not mine.

There will always be outreach programs designed to make the Word more accessible and if the concept of Christ Followers succeeds at bringing Jesus to those who otherwise wouldn’t have been so blessed while at the same time being true to God’s Word then, by definition, it’s a wonderful thing. Obviously, if it strays from the Truth, or relies on Machiavellian (the end justifies the means) methods of putting down one group of Christians in order to raise up another, then the concept falls short of its namesake.

/The videos are funny, but CFs are nothing new

//NIV Study Bible reading, business casual Sunday Church goer

meredith said...

C'mon, Christine. Those vids are *not* intended to show respect to the 'traditionalist', just like the Mac ads deliberately (and amusingly) delight in mocking PCs. This is a straw man argument. It's VERY easy to laugh at the 'Christian' who is trapped in a silly subculture because that is what the video intends you to do. It's very good marketing for the way cool, putatively tolerant 'emerging' crowd. But it's not kind to make fun of people who have got hold of the wrong end of the stick, as it were. The last video where the emergent 'compliments' the traditionalist rings hollow and frankly, a bit sanctimonious, given that the whole series is communicating exactly the opposite.

That said, the posters were pretty obnoxious too. Both things identify the fault lines and make Christianity of either stripe rather unattractive to outsiders. (Okay, I admit the one about Jesus not worshipping on a Saturday had me rofl.)

The videos pose a 'complex question' (e.g., 'how often do you beat your wife?') which forces the viewer to make a choice between two equally unacceptable options. No one reads morality plays for relaxation, but neither is it very comforting to stand where everything is so loose that nothing is firm.

Being a true follower of Jesus will *always* be countercultural, even in a place wallowing in wealth like the US. Kinda glad I'm not living there at the mo!

Bron said...

Gina said: "Christine, I really appreciate the fact that you are always thinking and encouraging others to do the same."

I second that! I'm really glad you've launched the new blog and seem to be planning keeping on blogging. I always look forward to reading your blog, not just to see what you're up to, but also to be challenged and encouraged to think about stuff.

*cracks a virtual bottle of champagne on the side of Christine's blog*

Lisa said...

I was interested in the final posting on your old blog, in which you said 'While many cringe at the word Christian, the name Jesus Christ almost universally demands respect.' This is certainly not true in my experience. Having been brought up in a family where Christ was used only as a swear word, I can readily testify that respect was the last thing on my parent's minds. Additionally, my observation of those around me confirms that this experience is not unique.
However I am not at all surprised by this because the Bible clearly tells us that the gospel will be the fragrance of life to some but the stench of death to others. We should expect that people will reject Jesus. They did it in his time and they will continue to do so until he returns. A change of name is not going to alter this fact. When push comes to shove, it matters less whether you call yourself a Christian or Christ-follower, but more how Christ's work is evidenced in your life. Mocking one another (and lets be honest, that's what the MAC/PC video is doing), does not demonstrate a love for one another, or a concern to see the other built up in Christ. Whilst it may provide a few laughs for those within the church, I think it is generally a poor witness.

Sarah said...

I read first the post on your old blog, and have viewed just part one of the videos. After reading the first post another perspective came into my mind. In doing a bible study on Acts, noticed the first time people were called Christians (Acts 11:26). That name was given by non-Christ-followers, similar to how people who followed Herod were Herodians. Christ's name was sacred to the believers of the time, and they would not have used it for themselves, instead choosing 'brethern', 'those of the Way', or 'disciples'.
So if the term Christians was first given by people who did not believe in Christ, no wonder it invokes such "baggage" and "stigma".
Reiterating what has been said, the important thing is what's in one's heart. "For me to live is Christ..." - title not needed.

Mikey Lynch said...

Am I allowed to kind of agree a bit with everyone?

I hover more in the Dekker-Bultman camp (sounds like a 18th Reformed theory of infralapsarianism - the Dekker-Bultman synthesis).

But I also see that there might be value in shifting terminology in certain context. Not only cause it might gain a fresh hearing from outsiders, but also because it reminds Christians of the personal, disciple-pilgrim nature of the Christian life. Am currently preaching Luke 9-19, where the Christian life is very much portrayed as following Christ.

The videos fail for me because both sides seem smug: the Christian is portrayed as smug and pompous, the Christfollower (accidentally?) comes across as smug and cool. Which leads me to one last thing:

*Someone* needs to say something about the church planter guy! I think he was the funniest of them all, *and* it was taking the plank out. This video seemed to be the least smug, because both characters seemed befuddled and sympathetically envious. The moral of the church planter vid is maybe the moral of this discussion: Christian or Christ Follower? The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side...

Martha said...

The term Christian means "belonging to Christ"

the name given by the Greeks or Romans, probably in reproach, to the followers of Jesus ("little Christ's!").

Those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

So, why do we need to change our name?

By the way, I also think the ad is quite disrespectful. Not because there is no truth in it but because it makes a mockery of traditional Christians. I was wondering if we will need to come up with a new term for "family".